We'd like to recognize the following departed American Legion Post 39 members, for their service in the military, for they will truly be missed. We'd also like to offer our sincere condolences to the loved ones of our fallen friends.
The bugle call "Taps" had its origins on a battlefield of the Civil War. After the union suffered a large number of casualties in a battle near Richmond, Virginia, Brigade Commander Colonel Daniel Butterfield reflected with sadness upon the men he had lost.. Unable to compose music, he hummed a melody which his aid wrote down in musical notation. The company bugler played it that night to honor their dead comrades, Taps was officially recognized by the United States Army in 1874. Accompanied by the drumbeat, Muffled Ruffles, it is the highest honor given to those who have died in service to our country.
James "Jim" Albert Harrison
Jim Harrison, 84 passed away on April 10th, 2018 in Strasburg, CO due to complications from Leukemia.
James was born on October 16, 1933 in Decatur, IL to his parents, Wayne and Alberta Harrison and raised by his grandparents, Guy and Mabel Harrison. James was married to Margaret Jean Pope on April 10, 1952 in Decatur, IL. In 1950 he began work for the Wabash Railroad in Decatur, IL. James joined the United States Marine Corps in 1953 serving his country until 1955. In 1963 James and Jean moved to La Junta, CO to work for the Santa Fe Railroad. In 1964 they moved to Colorado Springs where he began his 35 year career with the Federal Aviation Administration. On March 15th, 2018 he received acknowledgment of being a certified member of good standing for 50 years to the American Legion Post 39.
James enjoyed the outdoors: fishing, hunting, and golfing. He enjoyed attending all of his children's and grand-children's sporting events and when they moved on he continued to enjoy supporting and watching the local teams sporting events.
Vic Mikkelsen, a U. S. Navy veteran was born on February 2, 1960 and passed away on February 14, 2018. He was a longtime Colorado Springs Resident and went to Manitou Springs High School. Vic studied at Texas A&M University and worked at the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.
Victor P. Mikkelsen
Robert J. Dewhurst
Vietnam era 30-year American Legion Member. We regret that there is no additional information available.
“Mr. Bill” was a WWII veteran, born on August 21, 1925 and passed away on October 20, 2017 at the young age of 92.
Max Weissenfluh, left for his last sea duty and is on his way to a New Port of Call, as the Good Lord has called him home to serve on his ship of Angels. He passed away with his wife and children by his side.
Born in Colorado Springs, graduating Manitou High in 1959, He joined the Navy, served 20 years, retired as a Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman. Max married Jean Jarvi and they enjoyed 57 years of marriage. He leaves behind 2 children Mark (Patti) and Julie (Jeffrey), several grandchildren and great grandchildren, also many great friends.
Forrest ‘Gene’ Pacheco
Gene passed away on January 18, 2017. He was born on June 30th, 1936. Gene was an Army veteran, open wheel race car driver, longtime Colorado Springs resident, and worked as an Electrician. He is survived by his wife, Willa Pacheco.
John “Jack” Walter Guynn
U.S. Air Force, longtime Colorado Springs resident. Survived by his wife, Pat; three sons, Jack Jr., Mark and Scott; a daughter, Jenny; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Leslie K. (Ken) Smith
Retired Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Leslie K. (Ken) Smith passed away on May 11, 2016 from the overall effects of the Vietnam War and Agent Orange exposure. Following high school graduation, he joined the Army as an Armored Reconnaissance Specialist (Scout) but in his first assignment to Freiburg, Germany was made a tank driver. Thus began Ken's love of scouting and tanks.
He was reassigned to Fort Meade and the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and deployed with the Regiment to an area outside Saigon where he saw heavy fighting. Ken would return in 1971 where he served as a Cavalry Platoon Leader/Sergeant until wounded for his fourth time. He then served as a Drill Sergeant.
Ken was then assigned to Amberg, Germany where he performed the same peacetime duties with a Cavalry Platoon for five years. Returning to Fort Carson he was promoted and returned to Amberg where he served as First Sergeant of Company M and Headquarters Troop. He then returned to his family at Fort Carson, graduated from the Sergeants Major Academy, and served as the CSM of the 4th Battalion 68th Armor (Silver Lions). During his career he earned the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with V, four Purple Hearts, and four Army Commendation Medals.
After retirement he had a second career as a rural mail carrier, and when he finally retired, enjoyed his involvement with veteran's groups and friends. He leaves behind his wife Linda of over forty years and two adult sons, Donald and Michael Smith; one grandchild; and very close family friend, Darren Koch and his son.
Ken is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
We regret that there is no information available.
We regret that there is no information available.
William John Branford Jr.
William John Branford, Jr. a long time resident of Manitou Springs passed away peacefully on May 21, 2014.
He served in the U.S. Army for 23 years. His assignments included Fitzsimmon’s Army General Hospital, Germany, Korea, France, Fort Lee, Virginia and Fort Carson, Colorado among others. The medals he was awarded while in the Army are: Army Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Medal-WWII, American Campaign Medal WWII, World War II Victory Medal, World War II Army of Occupation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal.
William is survived by his son William J. Branford (Lynn), grandchildren Kevin M. Branford (Jessie), Heather McRae and Jeremy Yates and one great- grandchild Madeline McRae.
He was buried at Fort Logan National Cemetery